You Could Always Speak Your Mind

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Here we are in the twenty-first chart week taking a look at The Other Sixty and see who missed out on fortune and fame. There’s a lot of good ones here from 1980 up to 1982, so let’s review.

May 24th, 1980

84. Van Halen – And The Cradle Will Rock…

Here’s the California quartet in the middle of their spectacle period with David’s martial arts campiness, Eddie’s guitar wizard, and Michael guzzling a bottle of fake Jack Daniel’s on stage. This was the first single from their album, Women And Children First, a collection that doesn’t have as many classics as the first two but is still regarded as one of their best. It will gently sway itself up to #55.

86. Ozark Mountain Daredevils – Take You Tonight

OMD fully embraced the mellow pop sound of Jackie Blue after its success in 1975, but could never find another song that would click with the public again. The fact that country-rock was on the wane as the 80s began made it even harder. Their self-titled 1980 album, produced by John Boylan, was their last attempt before multiple line-up shifts and reunions. The single lies somewhere between Marshall Tucker and Firefall and will be their final chart hit when it reaches #67.

88. Cheap Trick – Everything Works If You Let It

Cheap trick finally burst through to radio the Frampton way via a live album. They continued that success with the Dream Police LP, and then it took until the end of the decade to rise again. In between, they released a boatload of snappy pop singles that should have kept here momentum churning. This heavy rocker from the film soundtrack to Roadie and produced by Sir George Martin should have easily been another big hit but stalled at #44.

90. Allan Clarke – Slipstream

Allan was a singer and songwriter for the Hollies when he first embarked on a solo career in the early 70s. Since then, he spent time recording with the band as well as his own projects. This 45 was from his sixth solo album, The Only One, and was his second and final Hot 100 entry as it cruised up to #70.

May 30th, 1981

86. Aretha Franklin – Come To Me

Maybe this is why she don’t remember the Queen of Soul. She had slipped into onto a sloop in Santa Monica and sailed off in the West Coast waters. Nothing wrong with giving it a try, but it still feels like a waste with that angelic voice to be co-opted by David Foster. Leave her alone and go find a horn band to ruin. This will barely make the Soul Top 40 and only move up two spots on the Hot 100.

87. April Wine – Sign Of The Gypsy Queen

Do you think that vain guys fly their lear jet up to Nova Scotia to see a total eclipse or these guys in concert? I guess if you were into The Nature of The Beast, you might want to check out Miles Goodwyn and co. doing a cover of Lorence Hud’s 1972 track. AW hit the Canadian Top 40 with their version and #57 South of the border.

90. Spider – It Didn’t Take Long

Here’s the lead single from the band’s second album, Behind The Lines, which featured singer-songwriter Holly Knight on keys and future Late Night drummer Anton Fig on drums. It will be their last chart hit and just missed the Casey call, topping out at #43.

91. Michael Damian – She Did It

Not sure that we needed a cover of Eric Carmen’s minor 1977 hit. If we did, we didn’t need one from this wannabe Springfield soap star. Even during a soft programming year, this didn’t do it past #69.

May 29th, 1982

80. The Monroes – What Do All The People Know

From the shores of San Diego comes Ron Burgundy’s favorite New Wave band. The peppy slice of power pop comes the group’s only recording – a 5-song EP called The Monroes. (Full disclaimer: no one in the band has a first or last name of Monroes.) This single would climb as high as #59, but all future recordings were put on hold as their record label, Alfa, fell apart.

82. Quarterflash – Right Kind Of Love

Rindy & Marv Ross decided to push their luck and released a third single from their debut, Quarterflash. After the first two hit the Top 20, this seafood ran out of steam, mama, and hit the rocks at #56.

83. Rick James – Dance With’ Me (Pt. 1)

I’m not sure Rick’s music didn’t cross over more after Super Freak, but I do know that cocaine is a helluva drug. And I also know that he wanted to be accepted the way he was rather than conform to any “pop” standard. If they didn’t like what he delivered, they could kiss his ass. Their loss, as they missed out on another sext funk jam and a sweet vibes solo by Roy Ayers as this #3 Soul smash gets thrown off the white couch at #64.

84. Change – The Very Best In You

Here’s another disco group that was heavily inspired by Chic, but because of the disco backlash had their music rejected by radio. They were still heavily played in the clubs, and personally, I love their soulful melancholy disco vibes. This Top 20 Soul hit will be their third straight chart hit not to escape the 80s on the Hot 100 when their best was a #84 zenith.

85. Bow Wow Wow – I Want Candy

Bow Wow Wow was formed in 1980 by impresario Malcolm McClaren. Lead singer Annabella Lwin was only 15 in 1982 when she recorded this cover of the 1965 Strangeloves classic. It became the band’s most well-known song, an MTV staple, and a New Wave standard. This Top 10 UK smash will go into insulin shock in the States at #62.

86. Manhattan Transfer – Route 66

Seven years before Depeche Mode’s electronic take on the Bobby Troup standard, a more traditional cover was recorded and charted by this New York vocal quartet. It was originally released as a single from the soundtrack to the Burt Reynolds film, Sharkey’s Machine, and wasn’t released on a Transfer LP until 1984’s Bop Doo Wopp. 66 will only hit 78 but will win a jazz Grammy in 82.

87. Le Roux – Last Safe Place On Earth

The pride of Baton Rouge is back with a follow-up to their only Top 40 hit, Nobody Said It Was Easy. This one rocks a little harder than the previous mellow single, but will only find solace in a #77 peak.

88. One Way – Cutie Pie

Al Hudson’s outfit was on band name #4 – Al Hudson & the Soul Partners, Al Husdon & the Partners, One Way Featuring Al Hudson, and finally, One Way. This moniker stuck and yielded the most success on the Soul charts and eventually the Hot 100. This midtempo phat trak is a classic of the era, and its Top 5 Soul showing is fully justified. Their #61 high on the Pop charts is a mistake that radio should atone for.

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